Snapchat is adding more kinds of camera ads to attract big advertisers

Snapchat sponsored World Lenses


Warner Bros. and Netflix are two of the first advertisers to use Snapchat's sponsored World Lenses.

After placing ads on the faces of its users, Snapchat is bringing more ads to the world around them.

Snapchat announced on Monday that it will sell sponsored World Lenses, which are virtual effects that can be displayed in the real world through the app's front-facing camera.

Advertisers will also be able to purchase targeted Lenses for the first time. Brands like Taco Bell previously had to purchase campaigns that were shown to all Snapchat users in a country.

The moves come as Snapchat maker Snap Inc. faces intense scrutiny to grow its nascent ad business in the midst of fierce rivalry from Facebook. Snap missed Wall Street's expectations for its first quarterly earnings as a public company last week, which sent its stock cratering more than 20%.

Snapchat charges $100,000 to $750,000 for Lenses, according to several sources familiar with the matter. That makes the format one of the app's priciest ad offerings.

  • Sponsored World Lenses: Lenses are Snap's main augmented-reality play, and the company is charging a 10-30% premium to let advertisers buy newer World Lenses, according to a person familiar with the matter. Warner Bros is running a sponsored World Lens on Monday for one of its upcoming movies, and Netflix has one in the pipeline. Snap has previously shown off World Lenses it created in-house, like a virtual rainbow that can be placed in the real world and walked around.
  • Targeted Lenses: Snap's selfie lenses used to be nationwide takeovers (and its most expensive ad offering), but now the company is signaling that it wants to make the format more accessible. Advertisers will be able to buy a guaranteed number of impressions for targeted audiences (age, gender, etc.) in the U.S. Snap said it's sped up the production timeline for these lenses from 8 to 6 weeks.
  • Smart Geofilters: Snap's geofilters, which show specific filters at certain locations in the app, are getting more specific. Brands can add specific location information, like when someone is in a high school or shopping mall, to national geofilter campaigns. Facebook lets people create location-based "frames" for its app's camera, but the social network has yet to roll out sponsored tools for brands.

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